Sophisticated applications are now available to analyze the drilling process and provide advice on the optimum operating parameters to drill safely, efficiently and to maximize wellbore productivity. The use of these applications requires a great deal of cooperation and collaboration between drilling contractors, service companies and operator personnel and systems.

Data must be exchanged between rig instrumentation systems, other rig sensors operated by service companies, downhole measurement systems, analysis applications and control systems. This data exchange must occur reliably and efficiently between different hardware systems and operating platforms.

Over the last few years a number of standards have emerged in the IT world, in industrial automation and in the oil industry. The use of these standards has the potential to bring in new levels of drilling automation capability. There are however some gaps and overlaps in the functionality and application of these different standards and an effort is required to bring these to the stage that they can be implemented and operated together efficiently.

This paper provides an overview of the work performed so far in various areas of standardization and presents some recommendations and guidelines for future development and adoption of standards that will enable reliable interoperation of drilling automation systems components.

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